So what in fact goes into a (very basic) lolita coord? Here's how mine tend to be built. I do variate a bit every now and then, but at least this amount of effort goes in every time.
Layer 1: tights, shorts, shirt. On a cold day I would be wearing an undershirt as well, or if I was going to wear a shirt instead of a JSK since this shirt shows the bra through a little. Socks could be another option but I typically go for tights because they're warmer - on occasion I'll wear the socks over them. I also have bloomers I could wear instead of the shorts.
Layer 2: petticoat or petticoats, laying the base for the poofy bell-shape. Much depends on how heavy the overthings are going to be and since this coord has a wool JSK (heavy) I'm wearing two petticoats on top of each other plus an extra skirt to make sure the tulle petti doesn't scratch my tights.
Layer 3: JSK has been added!
Final touches: accessorizing and shoes. I decided to go by the darker red accents of the dress and repeat it with the shoes and the rose clip. I also added a short sleeved bolero.
End look: classic in a casual way... except then I realized that the weather outside was really, really cold and that whenever possible the coord should match the demands of the temperatures outside. SO:
I decided to turn the look to a more seasonal one. This time I picked white from the base coord to be my main coording colour and went with it. The coat is just echoing the pink+white theme, the boots fit the rainy day better than the shoes and although the knitted headdress is a bit overkill the scarf definitely was not.
Naturally once I finished taking photos outside the chill went away, we got a bit of a drizzle and lots of sunshine resulting in a rare autumn rainbow!